Americus woman prepares to return to Boston Marathon
Charlene Pennymon after registration at the 2013 Boston Marathon
Some of the 2013 Boston marathon memorabilia in Pennymon's office
Pennymon at her desk, with trophies from several marathons behind her
AMERICUS, GA (WALB) -
An Americus woman is lacing up her shoes to return to the Boston Marathon a year after bombs exploded right after she crossed the finish line.
Charlene Pennymon was just moments ahead of the blast that killed three people and injured 260 others on April 15, 2013. But she's ready to hit the pavement again without fear. "As I told people before, it's surreal," said Pennymon, "I'm like gosh, it doesn't even seem like it happened."
She crossed the finish line just five minutes before the explosion, and was in disbelief when she heard the sound. "We figured this is their holiday, and we figured it was like fireworks or cannons or something," she said.
But the tragedy hasn't deterred her love of lacing up her tennis shoes and hitting the pavement. "It's just the best stress relieving activity. You just feel free."
The mortgage lender runs six miles a day, and even keeps a gym bag at work should she get the urge to run.
"You have to have a certain schedule when you're preparing for a marathon. You want to run so many miles each day and as each week goes by your mileage increases," Pennymon said.
The runner, whose office is filled with marathon trophies, will run 21 miles Sunday as part of her intense training to return to the Boston for the second time.
"I'm not nervous at all. I just know that what will be, will be," she said. "You just have to go there and enjoy yourself and make the best of a wonderful opportunity I've been given."
Her family and the community are rallying behind as she gears up for the 26.2 mile run.
"It feels unbelievable. I mean to be able to go step on the first time was just amazing," she said.
She's looking forward to crossing the finish line and adding another trophy to her wall. Pennymon said the trip will cost her about $3,500.
She says Phoebe Sumter is offering support...and she's also accepting donations. Anyone wanting to offer encouragement or those who hope to help her get to the Boston can call her at Citizens Bank in Americus at (229) 928-6487. She can also be reached via email at email@example.com